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Germans to Either Be 'Vaccinated, Recovered or Dead' by End of Winter, Health Minister Says

© REUTERS / THILO SCHMUELGENFamily doctor Elke Happich prepares a syringe containing a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to vaccinate patients at their homes in Cologne, Germany
Family doctor Elke Happich prepares a syringe containing a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to vaccinate patients at their homes in Cologne, Germany - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.11.2021
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Germany has seen a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases over the last week, with the data by Johns Hopkins University showing over 40,000 new cases registered in the country as of 22 November, which is some 50 percent more than the figures from earlier in the month.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn has called on the country's residents to get the coronavirus jab as soon as possible, including booster shots in case more than six months have passed since their second shot, offering gloomy predictions for the end of winter.
"By the end of this winter pretty much everyone in Germany will have been vaccinated, recovered or died," he said at a news conference in Berlin, admitting that many may see this view as cynical. "But it's true. With the highly contagious Delta variant, this is very, very likely and that's why we are recommending vaccination so urgently."
In his Twitter account, Spahn has intensified calls on Germans to participate in the re-started vaccination campaign, underlining that Germany has enough vaccines "for all citizens".
He also said that, in order to meet the demand, several vaccines are needed.

"Both mRNA vaccines - Moderna and BioNTech - are safe and effective. We need both to meet the growing demand for vaccinations," he tweeted. "By the end of the year, we will be able to first, second and third vaccinate 50 million people with both vaccines."

Spahn has also acknowledged that ramping up the vaccination campaign will mean additional pressure on the public health system and stress for medical workers, for which he expressed "sincere regrets".
In the wake of another surge of COVID-19 cases impacted in part by the highly contagious Delta variant, some German politicians expressed their support for introducing mandatory vaccination, citing the example of neighbouring Austria.
Among such politicians is centre-left Social Democrat Karl Lauterbach, who suggested in his Twitter that, given the "insufficient amount of voluntary vaccination", the vaccine mandate will "end the horror".
The same sentiment was voiced by Markus Soeder, the conservative governor of Bavaria.
"Public figures who have not yet been vaccinated should send out a signal", he tweeted on Monday. "Only general compulsory vaccination can end the corona loop and create social peace."
The recent developments with the COVID-19 situation in Germany, with the country registering over 40,000 new cases as of 22 November, were described by outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel as worse than anything Germany has experienced so far, calling for the local authorities to introduce more severe restrictions. Despite the surging number of cases, the vaccination rate in Germany remains under 70 percent: just 56.6 million people have received both shots, which is around 68 percent of the total population.
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